King Lear (2018)

King Lear (2018)

Jim BroadbentJim CarterTobias MenziesEmily Watson
Richard Eyre


King Lear (2018) is a English,French movie. Richard Eyre has directed this movie. Jim Broadbent,Jim Carter,Tobias Menzies,Emily Watson are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2018. King Lear (2018) is considered one of the best Drama,History movie in India and around the world.

An aging King invites disaster when he abdicates to his corrupt, toadying daughters, and rejects his loving and honest one.

King Lear (2018) Reviews

  • A modern take on a Shakespeare tragedy


    Lear, an elderly king, has decided to divide his kingdom between his three daughters but first he asks each how much they love him to decide who should get the largest share. The elder two, Goneril and Regan, profess their love in false, obsequious tones but Cordelia, the youngest and most beloved, says she has no words to say how much she loves him... and is immediately disowned. The Earl of Kent speaks up for her but he too is banished. Tensions soon rise as various parties try to position themselves for power and the king's grip on reality slips further; tragedy is inevitable. One wouldn't really say this BBC production was enjoyably... 'King Lear' is one of Shakespeare's more tragic plays; it is however a gripping production. Anthony Hopkins does a fine job as Lear, really capturing the anger and confusion of the character as he slips into senility. Emma Thompson, Emily Watson and Florence Pugh impress as Goneril, Regan and Cordelia although we see far more of the former two and they get more to work with. The rest of the cast is solid and includes plenty of familiar faces. There are some disturbing moments... the sight of a character having his eyes gouged out certainly had me wincing. Director Richard Eyre did a fine job capturing the bleakness of the story; the colour draining from the picture as the story progresses to such an extent that the final scenes was almost black and white. Overall I'd certainly recommend this to fans of Shakespeare on film.

  • Good adaptation; weak central performance


    The thing about seeing a performance of a part in a play or literary adaptation (or really any acting role) that one comes to regard as "definitive", is that such a performance will have a detrimental effect on one's ability to objectively judge any subsequent performance of that part, as any such performance will necessarily be found wanting. as Richard III in 's 1984 RSC production, as Henry V in his own 1989 film adaptation ( ), as Willy Loman in 's 2010 Gate Theatre production of Death of a Salesman, as Blanche duBois in 's 2014 Young Vic production of A Streetcar Named Desire, even something like as Dracula or as Kurtz in . All definitive. For me, the definitive Lear is a no brainer - in 's magisterial 2013 Abbey Theatre production. Roe was very much helped by the extraordinarily ambitious direction of Cartmell. However, irrespective of directorial assistance, the scenes on the heath (the so-called "unactable" portion of King Lear), were unlike anything I've ever seen, as Roe alternates, sentence by sentence (!) between a fairly standard (if brilliantly staged) raging at the heavens, and turning directly to the audience and speaking quietly and calmly, almost emotionlessly. Sentence. By. Sentence. Without breaking the metre of the iambic pentameter verse!! Of course, Cartmell's choice here is obvious; the use of two different styles of delivery serve as a succinct visual/aural metaphor for the inner turmoil of the character, but although it's a thematically simple enough device, it requires a performance of immense control to bring it off. And then we have in writer/director 's TV adaptation for the BBC. Oh dear. His performance was never going to touch Roe's masterclass for me, but what's especially disappointing is how little interested he seems in doing anything beyond giving the barest essentials in his interpretation of the part. Having said that, that Hopkins would appear in any filmic adaptation of Lear at all is unexpected. He has played the part before - over one-hundred performances in 's 1986 National Theatre production; a run which was almost immediately followed by over one-hundred performances in 's 1987 production of Antony and Cleopatra. Hopkins had been growing disillusioned with theatre acting for some time, and his success in films such as and served only to expedite his growing dissatisfaction. Disliking the experience of performing Shakespeare over two-hundred times in the course of two years, and feeling burnt out (who can blame him), after Antony finished its run, Hopkins moved to the US to pursue film acting full time. He has often spoken since about just how much he hated those two years, and how much he grew to loathe Shakespeare, particularly Lear. On his commentary track for 's , he points out that as far as he was concerned, he was done with Shakespeare, until Taymor convinced him to appear in the film adaptation of her own 1994 Theatre for a New Audience production. He also stresses that Titus will most likely be the last time in his life he plays Shakespeare (calling the performance his "swan song"). Obviously, he changed his mind (or Eyre changed it for him), but that he would do so with Lear, of all plays, is decidedly unexpected. So, with that in mind, what exactly is wrong with his performance? How can someone who played the part over one-hundred times possibly give an under par performance? Well, probably because he played the role over one-hundred times. The performance is lethargic, jaded, lazy, as if it's routine, become so familiar that all meaning has evaporated from the text (similar to when you say a word over and over and it starts to sound strange). Hopkins plays Lear as an easy-to-anger man, used to getting his own way, with little time for sentiment, whose grip on reality is becoming increasingly tenuous. Nothing wrong with that - it's a very basic reading of the character, but still nothing inherently wrong with it. The problem is, we've seen Hopkins play this character before, or a variation thereof, in everything from to to . Indeed, his performances in Eyre's Lear is, beat for beat, a virtual carbon copy of his performance in Taymor's Titus. There are many similarities between the characters, to be sure, but not so many that the parts should be played in exactly the same way (as a contrast, look at 's performance in the two roles; Titus in 's ground-breaking 1987 RSC production, and Lear in Warner's 1990 National Theatre production - three years, and an ocean of interpretive difference separate the performances). Hopkins's performance has two gears - scenery chewing and shouty scenery chewing. That's it. Compare the lack of pathos, emotion, or nuance in his performance to, for example, Cox, (in 's 1971 film - ), (in 's 1971 film - ), (in 's 1983 TV movie for ITV - ), or Anthony Sher (in 's 2018 RSC production). All of them show more range, and a wider and more complete understanding of the text than Hopkins's one note performance. Also, his tendency to pause in the middle of verse lines is extremely distracting, and completely disrupts the meter. Such pauses serve to create artificial caesuras in the iambic pentameter lines, turning the verse into a bizarre amalgamation of anapaestic and dactylic hexameters, and even heptameters. A stronger director would have stamped this out, or had the actor speak in prose (as a few of the other actors do), but to have the actor speak in verse, but show no respect for the verse is...strange. Thankfully the rest of the cast are universally strong. And what a cast! as an especially nasty Goneril; as a deeply sympathetic Gloucester; as a soft-spoken Edmund; as a highly emotional Edgar; as a gruff Kent; soon-to-be-superstar as a very young and wide-eyed Cordelia; as a decidedly serious Fool; as a suitably ridiculous Oswald; as a take-charge Albany; and as a considerate France. However, the film is stolen by the work of and as an insanely bloodthirsty Regan and Cornwall. Watson's Regan oozes raw sexuality, and the (very graphic) blinding scene clearly turns both of them on. Two terrific performances which left me wishing there was more of them together in the play. Also impressive is Eyre's direction, although the lack of editing rhythm in the opening scene is a little strange, and the shot composition in places tends to flatten the image, making it seem a little like a filmed play. His decision to set the play in modern London, however, with Lear as a retiring pseudo-dictator, works very well (Edgar is an astrophysicist, Edmund is in the armed forces). In this context, the shopping mall scene is especially well conceived and executed, as a now quite mad Lear wanders around a near-derelict shopping mall in a bad part of town, dressed like a vagrant, pushing a shopping trolley, and talking to a doll. It's a deeply unsettling image that encapsulates perfectly just how far he has fallen. Also well conceived is the scene set in an asylum seekers' refugee camp. The political commentary is a little on the nose, as Lear looks around the camp at the faces of the refugees, forcing him to consider issues of which he's never before conceived, but it's effective, timely and non-intrusive. So, all-in-all, a strong adaptation with an excellent cast brought down only by a weak central performance. Unfortunately, the part of Lear is so completely central, pivotal, and dominating, that if it doesn't work, there's a problem. Hopkins's performance isn't so bad as to distract too much from the excellent work done elsewhere in the piece, but what's annoying about it is it could easily have been so much better. Mind you, members of the cast have been active on Twitter and the interview circuit for the last couple of weeks talking about how much they loved working with Hopkins, and how tremendous they think he is in the role (oftentimes, going to the set even when they weren't working, just to watch him filming). So, what do I know?

  • A Splendid Production


    Lear is one of those roles (the other is Prospero) that looms in the destiny of notable Shakespearian actors. Olivier tackled it. Gielgud (whose advice to a younger Ian McKellan, we are told, was "get a small Cordelia"), Scofield, Stewart, when an actor with in the classical repertory reaches a certain age, the challenge he faces is whether or not do Lear. Hopkins takes this on with all his considerable skill and force, and for my taste delivers beautifully. Ably supported by a very good cast drawn from the almost bottomless pool of English talent, he portrays the spiteful, short-sighted old king who banishes Cordelia and Kent at the beginning of the piece, the king who finds his power deserting him in the face of opposition from Goneril and Regan in the next arc of the plot, the bereft old man descending into the madness he so fears, and the shattered man at the end, with range and power. Lear is not a one-man show, but without a tremendously strong Lear you don't have a play (same goes for so many of Shakespeare's best pieces - Hamlet, Macbeth. Richard III). Hopkins hits the essential peak at the last scene, with those two famous lines of one word repeated. "Howl. Howl. Howl." and. utterly broken at last: "Never. Never. Never." These are language as music, almost in the abstracl, like sacred chant in their power, and he delivers them spot on. I was very pleased with this film and these performances.

  • Do you like Shakespeare?


    I love Shakespeare. I am extremely grateful to Amazon for investing their money in Shakespeare rather than spending it on an obscure comic book character and/or some random pop culture IP that should not be rebooted. Anthony Hopkins is incredible as King Lear. The production values are fantastic. The only thing I have a problem with are the misguided idiots in the review section who feel like slapping the hand of their patron. Shakespeare, above all, knew the importance of patrons.

  • Dividing the spoils


    My word not many laughs in King Lear. My son who fancied a bit of Shakespeare got put off by the eye gouging scene of Gloucester. He went off to watch a James Bond movie, Spectre I think! Richard Eyre who worked with Anthony Hopkins in the film version of The Dresser, reunited with him again as Eyre adapts and directs the film version of King Lear. The setting is modern day Britain as a military dictatorship. The ageing Lear has gathered his family to divide up his kingdom in what proves to be unwise. One part to his daughter Goneril (Emma Thompson), the other to Regan (Emily Watson) and the remainder would had gone to Cordelia (Florence Pugh) until she fails to show her father enough devotion and flattery. She is disinherited and banished. The declaration of love and devotion from Goneril and Regan are false. The autocrat is usurped from his power by two of his offspring with Cordelia who was the only daughter true to him. Lear descends into madness. Eyre has wisely cut the text down so the running length is less than two hours but I still found the play dense and also at times choppy. I liked some of the updates. Edgar and Edmund's battle is a mixed martial arts contest. Lear walks around the shopping precinct, homeless and pathetically pushing a shopping trolley with rubbish. Hopkins, maybe due to his Celtic temperament delivers a shouty performance. A man in rage and also pathetic as he is played like a puppet on a string by Goneril and Regan. This Lear is wonderfully filmed, the picture gets desaturated as the story gets bleaker by the end.


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